Friday, May 29

1 Corinthians 15:56-58

Our expectations for the future affect how we live in the present. When we find the future unclear or foreboding, finding the motivation for today’s tasks is often difficult. 

Years ago, I served a church near a growing state university. When I moved there, I discovered a section of homes in the area that looked much like all the others nearby, except none of these houses had been properly maintained. Yards were overgrown with weeds. Roofs needed repair and siding needed repainting. Windows were broken and some of the houses stood vacant. When I asked about this area, I learned it was under eminent domain and would in time be demolished so that the university could expand. There was no future for these houses, so there was little motivation to do the work to maintain or improve them.

Paul proclaims that we need not fear the future or give in to despair. Christ is risen. To live in the power of this resurrection is to live free from the fear of death. In Christ, the future has become a friend. Our worst fears—that death is the final word about us—are overcome.

Paul proclaims that Christ’s resurrection makes not only his earthly work enduringly meaningful, but also ours. Living in the power of the resurrection means living with confidence that our work for Christ is not in vain. Nothing is more important than offering someone else what we’ve found meaningful in Christ. The spirit of the living Christ enables us to live each day free from the fears of death and the meaninglessness that tries to make prisoners of us all. Such lives are beacons of hope for those who struggle to face the future unafraid.

Consider

What is your primary motivation for doing good deeds? When you’re discouraged and doubt the value of your work, how do you renew your commitment?

Pray

God, I confess that I sometimes fail to see the worth of what I attempt to do. Reassure me that the smallest service rendered in your name is valuable. Give me the strength to endure in the work you give me to do. Amen.

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